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repairedCheese

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
509
667
So! Geekbench. We use it to compare things, especially since version 2 can be used on a fairly wide array of hardware and software, even if it may not be that meaningful as a whole. I recently threw my rather nice Ryzen Windows system at it to compare to my lower end Powermac G5, and it did thoroughly trounce it.

https://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench2/2687919
https://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench2/2687918

1805 vs 19003. Which is wild, even if it's interesting to see that not all the single core scores are that much better, as in two times better, not ten times.

Except for one score:
1593652085508.png

Could this be a bug? Sure! The Windows system is running 2.4.3 and the Mac is stuck at 2.2.7, but personally I hope it means there's maybe one thing, if only one thing, that this old Mac can do that it does better than my brand new PC.
 
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AshleyPomeroy

macrumors member
Dec 27, 2018
87
170
England
For comparison my 2ghz Power Mac G5 7,2, which was the previous generation of G5, scores 1647 in the 32-bit Geekbench 2 test.

I recently bought a 2ghz Core 2 Duo early-2009 Mac Mini, which scored 2723 (both machines have 8gb of memory). The G5 is competitive on some of the integer performance tests but gets utterly hammered in the blur/sharpen image tests. On the other hand the two machines can draw a Mandlebrot set a lot faster than I can.

My desktop PC is a modest home-built i5-3570, upgraded from a i5-2500K I assembled back in 2011. It scores 8547, not in the same league as a modern Ryzen system. The Mandlebrot single-core / multi-core results were 2698 and 10108 respectively - which seems wrong, because it suggests that the eight-year-old 3570's single-thread performance is better than a modern Ryzen CPU.

My 1.67ghz 17" PowerBook G4 scores 970. I understand that a Geekbench 2 score of 1000 represents a 1.6ghz Power Mac G5 - Geekbench was developed on a G5 - in which case the G4's score is really good. The big thing that lets it down is the memory bandwidth.

I guess this proves two things. Firstly that larger numbers are higher, and secondly that smaller numbers aren't as big.

You know, I can remember when most websites looked like this, e.g. just text with mild HTML markup:

It's sad, alarming, depressing that the modern internet is sluggish on hardware that would have been a supercomputer fifteen years ago. If someone or some organisation started a "simplify the web" campaign I would donate to it.
 
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crammedberry

macrumors regular
For comparison my 2ghz Power Mac G5 7,2, which was the previous generation of G5, scores 1647 in the 32-bit Geekbench 2 test.

I recently bought a 2ghz Core 2 Duo early-2009 Mac Mini, which scored 2723 (both machines have 8gb of memory). The G5 is competitive on some of the integer performance tests but gets utterly hammered in the blur/sharpen image tests. On the other hand the two machines can draw a Mandlebrot set a lot faster than I can.

I was working in design around the time the PowerPC-to-Intel transition took place. My work setup was a dual-core 2.3GHz G5 with 8GB of ram (which was quite a beast at the time). I never ran benchmarks on it, but after universal binaries were released for Adobe Creative Suite 3, I remember Apple's Intel offerings at the time absolutely hammered the PowerMac. I was also very surprised that my Core 2 Duo MacBook (which only had 2GB of RAM and even an integrated graphics card) was often faster than the PowerMac when it came to processing tasks. What was shocking to me at the time as well was that Apple's transition kit, which used a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 if I remember correctly, was also sometimes faster than the PowerMac systems I had access to at the time. And this is the terrible Intel NetBurst architecture. The Intel Core processors that Apple released in their products were even better. It really was an eye-opener for me as up until the transition I had totally bought into Apple's marketing.
 
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Amethyst1

macrumors 68040
Oct 28, 2015
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It really was an eye-opener for me as up until the transition I and had totally bought into Apple's marketing.
Buying into any kind of marketing is a bad idea. Facts alone matter. And here's a fact: the Core 2 CPUs pretty much smoked everything else out there in 2006 in terms of IPC. :)
 
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repairedCheese

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
509
667
My 1.67ghz 17" PowerBook G4 scores 970. I understand that a Geekbench 2 score of 1000 represents a 1.6ghz Power Mac G5 - Geekbench was developed on a G5 - in which case the G4's score is really good. The big thing that lets it down is the memory bandwidth.
I went looking around for anything to really do a decent comparison to, and I remembered my old 1.8ghz Pentium 4 Dell C840 still was kicking around. It's a beastly laptop from the year 200, and it manages a score of all of 788.

https://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench2/compare/2687985/2687918

But then I started to look for Macs anywhere near that ballpark, and ran across another PowerBook G4, a 1.33 GHz model. It scored an also slightly lower 873.

https://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench2/compare/2687926/2687985

The thing is, my Dell from 2002 is in spitting distance of Macs from 2004, it's out scoring this PowerBook in several scores, and I can only imagine what Dell and the rest were selling by 2004.
What was shocking to me at the time as well was that Apple's transition kit, which used a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 if I remember correctly, was also sometimes faster than the PowerMac systems I had access to at the time. And this is the terrible Intel NetBurst architecture. The Intel Core processors that Apple released in their products were even better. It really was an eye-opener for me as up until the transition I and had totally bought into Apple's marketing.
And this little exercise in comparing 16 year old Macs to an 18 year old Dell makes that feel entirely believable. I highly doubt PowerPC as an architecture hit a wall, but the implementation Apple was using certainly had.
 
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Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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It's a beastly laptop from the year 200, and it manages a score of all of 788.
Not surprising given how utterly awful those P4s were.
[automerge]1593773026[/automerge]
can only imagine what Dell and the rest were selling by 2004.
Dell and the rest were also selling Pentium M laptops by 2004. The PM smokes the G4 (and the worthless P4). E.g.



There you go - a 1.2 GHz Pentium M scores better than a 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 despite a 600 MHz clock speed penalty.
 
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repairedCheese

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
509
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Not surprising given how utterly awful those P4s were.
From the reviews I've been able to find, this Dell was one of the most powerful x86 laptops you could get in 2002. Which is kind of depressing. And while it's less useful, I can certainly tell you that the PMG5 I have certainly feels worthy of a score 1000 points higher than a P4 laptop from 2002. But the software library that P4 has access to is so much wider. Even doing something as simple as browsing the internet from Windows XP on a modern browser is easy. My understanding is that the only thing stopping me from putting Windows 7 on the thing is ram limitations. Of course it doesn't even have DDR ram, but Windows 7 didn't have high requirements. Of course, I'd also have to replace the 20gb 2.5" laptop ide hard drive, too, I kind of forgot how bad hard drives could be to boot from. Especially on a crusty old Windows XP system like this.

Well, that, and the way the nub mouse throws the cursor in random directions without being touched, which basically makes the system useless unless I can find a way to fix it or turn it off, and there don't actually seem to be options to do either.

Retro computers really are a trip, huh?
 
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Amethyst1

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Oct 28, 2015
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From the reviews I've been able to find, this Dell was one of the most powerful x86 laptops you could get in 2002.
In 2002, yes. But you mentioned 2004, so I brought up that by that time, the Pentium M had been released and was healthily outrunning the P4. And the 1.2 GHz PM which beat the 1.8 GHz P4 in GB2, even if just slightly, was an ultra low voltage variant in a tablet PC/ultraportable - the P4 never made it into ultraportables for obvious reasons. The ULV PM has a TDP of 5.5 watts, the mobile P4... 30 watts. Woah. And it also shows how impressive the G4 was in comparison to the P4.

But - here's my 2006 Mac mini running the slowest/crappiest CPU you can put in there, a 1.47 GHz single-core Celeron based on the "enhanced Pentium M" (Core Solo/Duo) microarchitecture.


1767.

More than twice the score of the 1.8 GHz P4 and 1.33 GHz G4. However, looking at GB2 scores attained by other machines running the same CPU, my score seems very high so I don't blindly trust it. Nonetheless, the other results also show this low-end chip easily beating both the G4 and the P4.

[automerge]1593776544[/automerge]
But the software library that P4 has access to is so much wider. Even doing something as simple as browsing the internet from Windows XP on a modern browser is easy.
That's the upside of XP having been supported for what can only be called an eternity compared to other operating systems. And don't forget Linux as another very capable and up-to-date alternative.
[automerge]1593776828[/automerge]
My understanding is that the only thing stopping me from putting Windows 7 on the thing is ram limitations. Of course it doesn't even have DDR ram,
The C840 uses DDR RAM and officially supports up to 1 GB according to the spec sheet. However, as I expected, 2 GB actually works just fine; and Windows 7 is bearable with 2 GB RAM (and an SSD will improve matters too, of course).
[automerge]1593776910[/automerge]
Retro computers really are a trip, huh?
They are :)
 
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weckart

macrumors 603
Nov 7, 2004
5,292
2,793
And this little exercise in comparing 16 year old Macs to an 18 year old Dell makes that feel entirely believable. I highly doubt PowerPC as an architecture hit a wall, but the implementation Apple was using certainly had.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before but I was more involved in the early stages of Hackintoshing, when Tiger was still a thing than now. My 1.6GHz Banias Pentium-M Dell laptop killed my 1.5GHz PowerBook G4 even without accelerated graphics and I didn't need Geekbench to point that out to me. That's when I stopped listening to Jobs and the Apple PR team.
 
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James Gryphon

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2018
43
68
They didn't exactly lie, but they were certainly willing to leave us with a false impression. The snail ad and famous 'megahertz myth' presentation basically amounted to, 'In this specific case we decided to talk about [which we chose because the G# is faster in it], it was twice as fast as the Pentium.' It was a little disillusioning to figure out as an adult (after years of childhood naivete) that 'up to twice as fast' didn't mean that it was consistently twice as fast.

It's probably a good thing for Apple that it was difficult to make an objective comparison between platforms until after Mac OS X came out. While Windows hadn't, and in some ways never has, caught up to OS 9 in terms of UI/UX, architecturally the NT line was probably more solid, and Apple needed to be able to say that some aspect of machine performance was as good or better.

As far as support and compatibility goes, the trouble has always been that Macs are a niche, and old Macs, a niche of a niche. Every version of Windows was mainstream at one point, and got interminable years of back-support to protect some large percentage of market share, whereas old Macs got less developer support even when they were brand new. I don't believe there's any architectural reason why you couldn't, theoretically, access the modern internet as well on OS 9 or Jaguar as on XP, but they've more retro enthusiasts and less work to do to catch up.
 
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z970mp

macrumors 68040
Jun 2, 2017
3,290
3,633
The Matrix
@James Gryphon This niche of a niche status can be very frustrating when pursuing upgrades and whatnot, when they are charged much higher than the industry standard x86-equivalent stuff at the time.

Needless to say, I have yet to regret "switching over" most of my retro computing (read: all of my computing) to P3s and P4s of the time. Not only do their support structures blow PowerPC out of the water, but parts and upgrades are much easier to procure, as well as far easier on the wallet when they are needed / found. As well as the fact that you can simply do more on them nowadays than their Mac equivalents as a result of this.

Of course, I haven't abandoned PowerPC outright because they're still quite special machines and have a unique charm other systems lack... but life is just easier on the P6 / NetBurst / K8 side, and more rewarding, too.
 
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sparty411

macrumors 6502a
Nov 13, 2018
518
456
@James Gryphon This niche of a niche status can be very frustrating when pursuing upgrades and whatnot, when they are charged much higher than the industry standard x86-equivalent stuff at the time.

Needless to say, I have yet to regret "switching over" most of my retro computing (read: all of my computing) to P3s and P4s of the time. Not only do their support structures blow PowerPC out of the water, but parts and upgrades are much easier to procure, as well as far easier on the wallet when they are needed / found. As well as the fact that you can simply do more on them nowadays than their Mac equivalents as a result of this.

Of course, I haven't abandoned PowerPC outright because they're still quite special machines and have a unique charm other systems lack... but life is just easier on the P6 / NetBurst / K8 side, and more rewarding, too.
Yeah, this 100%. You can even use late LGA 775 boards that support DDR3 memory for a Netburst based build. Although, 865PE based boards with late Northwood Pentium 4's will always have a special place in my heart :) My daily driver at the moment is actually a Pentium Extreme Edition 945 running the latest release of Linux Mint, and it works flawlessly.
 
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crammedberry

macrumors regular
They didn't exactly lie, but they were certainly willing to leave us with a false impression. The snail ad and famous 'megahertz myth' presentation basically amounted to, 'In this specific case we decided to talk about [which we chose because the G# is faster in it], it was twice as fast as the Pentium.' It was a little disillusioning to figure out as an adult (after years of childhood naivete) that 'up to twice as fast' didn't mean that it was consistently twice as fast.

This pretty much sums it up. But even if they didn't lie, they did a remarkable job of pushing out this false narrative of PowerPC speed superiority when by the early to mid-2000s their competitors would run circles around their products in almost everything but vector processing.
 
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Project Alice

macrumors 68000
Jul 13, 2008
1,567
1,469
Post Falls, ID
The C840 uses DDR RAM and officially supports up to 1 GB according to the spec sheet. However, as I expected, 2 GB actually works just fine; and Windows 7 is bearable with 2 GB RAM (and an SSD will improve matters too, of course).
Just wanted to throw in the fact that I ran Windows 7 on 512MB of ram for around a year (also Vista on the same machine). That was on an IBM ThinkPad A22m with an 800Mhz PIII. Totally usable.
7 actually runs fine on 256MB! Though it will refuse to install. I also ran it on an A21m ThinkPad that was even slower. I just had to borrow one of the 256MB sticks from the other ThinkPad. Took it out after installing and all was well.
 
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repairedCheese

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 13, 2020
509
667
Just wanted to throw in the fact that I ran Windows 7 on 512MB of ram for around a year (also Vista on the same machine). That was on an IBM ThinkPad A22m with an 800Mhz PIII. Totally usable.
7 actually runs fine on 256MB! Though it will refuse to install. I also ran it on an A21m ThinkPad that was even slower. I just had to borrow one of the 256MB sticks from the other ThinkPad. Took it out after installing and all was well.
All I need for my old Dell is an msata ssd adaptor and ssd, and the laptop might even feel not horrible. Also I wouldn't be limited to a 20gb hard drive, then. I've seriously thought about doing that just for fun, as it is. It has a large and gorgeous 1600x1200 screen, and I'd kind of love to see something newer than XP on it. I did already buy an 802.lln pcmcia card, which gets it online. I'll definitely be looking into getting it 7 ready, it shouldn't cost too much to do so.
 
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